Saturday, July 26, 2014

California Open 2014 Update

Congratulations to the 2014 California Open Exhibition artists!

Reception & Awards Ceremony:
Saturday, August 16, 5 - 8 pm

JUROR: Laddie John Dill
click on image to see larger

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Coming Exhibition: Carole Garland, Suki Kuss, Elyse Wyman

Tuesday, July 15 - Saturday, August 9, 2014

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 19, 5-8 p.m.

Artist Talk: Saturday, August 2, 3 p.m

Santa Monica Pier: Night and Day, Carole Garland
Carole Garland,  Ferris, Oil on Canvas , 48x36in
In her latest show, Carole Garland focuses on the variability of the Santa Monica Pier as a spectrum of illumination throughout the day and into the night. Garland plays with natural and artificial light and shadows falling on the beach, pier and water and explores the familiar architecture in close-up and from afar. She shifts from previous work which focused on the chaos of the metropolitan city, to the haunting qualities of the pier’s urban architecture. She captures the nostalgic quality of the iconic structures, the ferris wheel, the carousel, and the roller coaster, rather than the tourists who visit the pier. Atmosphere, mood, and the changing times of day continue to be a signature of her work.

Small Offerings, Suki Kuss
Suki Kuss, Cloud Cover I, Mixed Media Collage, 20x20in
Suki Kuss embarks on a personal journey in her latest exhibition, Small Offerings. Putting aside her previously used vintage materials such as lace, patterns, sheet music and reflective surfaces, Kuss limits herself to only immediately accessible and basic materials in her studio. What unfolded in this delicate and patient quest was a deeply cathartic and cleansing experience. Reminiscent of her past aesthetic, Kuss achieves a complex, multi-layered balance through talent and patience in skilled penwork. Jean-Jacques Rousseau once wrote, “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” Speaking to her fruitful process, Kuss divulges, “ I found myself slowly developing smaller and smaller pieces. The work has become very meditative and absorbing… I find myself engaged with the individual pieces for days on end”. Unifying these compositions are restrictions in color palette and the incorporation of her own symbolic visual vocabulary that she has developed over the years. Distinctive to Kuss’ work is her continued mastery of combining and translating textures into visceral and ethereal atmospheres.

Light of Day, Elyse Wyman
Elyse Wyman, The Summit, Mixed Media, 36x36in
In her latest series, Elyse Wyman combines painting and photography to explore the crepuscular transition of day to night. These mixed media works showcase the ephemeral nature of the cyclical rhythms of the earth, as light is filtered through a haze of clouds, mist and pollution in and around the Los Angeles area. Wyman begins with photos printed on clear film which she then partially dissolves with solvents to abstract and soften them. She then layers the photo over an acrylic painting to create gradients of color and depth beneath the dripping emulsion of a wet sky. Referencing the ever-changing currents aloft, Wyman shares that, "The ethereal effects of light falling on this planet from above have always been of compelling interest to me." This melding of media seeks to capture time, keeping a brief moment alive while also tracing its demise. As she sees it, each day comes into being and over time passes away, but not before exploding in a final unique outburst.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Coming Exhibition: Anne M Bray, Katie Crown, Jane Peterson

June 17 - July 12, 2014

Opening Reception:
Saturday June 21, 5-8pm

Artist Talk:
Saturday June 28, 3pm

On the Edge: US, Anne M Bray
Anne M Bray, Gas Station, TX, Digital Watercolor on Aluminum, 4x6"
In her latest series, Anne M Bray provides a visual documentation of the perimeter of the 48 contiguous U.S. states. “Having already driven across the U.S. more than twelve times, I got the notion to try something new,” says Bray. After investigating ways to document her 300-400 mile driving days over the course of her solo venture, Bray opted for digital photography. Using the Waterlogue App, Bray transformed her initial photographs into digital “watercolors” before printing them on aluminum at postcard scale. Bray presents the images as continuous strips, much like how she experienced the landscape as it rolled by her car windows. Each wall showcases a different perimeter of the country: South, East, North, and West. The effect is a passenger seat view of her journey on the country’s roads less traveled.

SWING, Katie Crown
Katie Crown, Dancers Over LA, Watercolor on Paper, 38x29"
In her latest series, Katie Crown challenges the traditional watercolor medium to create vibrant, large-scale swing dancers. Crown’s skilled brushwork captures remarkable detail in her subjects’ expressions and gestures as animated figures dance across monumental stretches of paper - some standing five feet tall. “I like working large, as it pulls people into the scene,” says Crown. “The dancers aren’t grounded. They exist somewhere between reality and cartoon.” Crown says she was initially inspired by the dancers she watched at the Rhythm Room, a blues club she frequented while living in Arizona, as well as summer concerts in Culver City. Her interest grew and she began to also collect photos of people dancing. “I don’t go for people embracing one another in their dance, but people separated from one another,” says Crown. “There’s a theme of alienation, but it’s [also] humorous.” In works like “Dancers Over L.A.,” frenzied figures float through space in active motion through downtown Los Angeles skyscrapers, each dancing independently from one another. Crown uses stiff oil-paint brushes to dryly apply watercolor paint, scratching back and forth to create an essence of movement. Crown’s work radiates with a bold sense of color that matches the musical quality of her playfully surreal compositions.

an.i.mal, Jane Peterson
Jane Peterson, Sentries, Archival Pigment Print, 20x16"
In Jane Peterson’s latest series, she further explores the spectrum of human emotion with particular attention to anxiety, passion, and fear. Cartoon-like characters make their way through Peterson’s fanciful compositions, ranging from grotesque insects and other worldly creatures to abstracted human forms that exist in an environment not entirely foreign from her viewers. “I find particular beauty in the exoskeleton of some insects. I imagine that hard shell form of protection working very well for other animals, including humans,” says Peterson. “Expressions such as ‘thick skin,’ or ‘iron will,’ when applied to humans, describe a metaphorical armor.” Surrealist imagery permeates Peterson’s two-dimensional prints and three-dimensional carvings as her figures wander between reality and the subconscious, taking on personalities that are decidedly familiar, yet eerie. In a series of images portraying a character Peterson calls the “Stomach Man,” the figure’s solar plexus - signifying the seat of fear - protrudes outside the body, becoming an appendage like an arm or a leg. Peterson uses this exaggerated body language to illustrate universal emotions of insecurity and vulnerability. A percentage of the sales proceeds will go to the Humane Society of Ventura County (HSVC).